TSG MOW Boxcars – N Scale Kitbash

TSG MOW Boxcars

A few years ago I painted quite a bit of N scale equipment for our fictitious Tuscany & Sabine Grove railroad.  The T&SG is a shortline running somewhere in California.  I’m still working on defining the “somewhere”.  Wherever it is, any good shortline needs some equipment.  That includes maintenance-of-way equipment.  Even a small railroad has to keep the track in good shape and keep the weeds down.

To that end I decided to kitbash some maintenance-of-way cars.  As part of that effort I used some undecorated Micro-Trains N scale boxcars.  The three TSG MOW boxcars in the picture started out as generic 40-foot boxcars without roofwalks.  Two of the cars had sliding doors.  The other had a plug door.  I’ll describe them as they appear in the picture, from left to right.

Tuscany & Sabine Grove

Tuscany & Sabine Grove

TSG 939 MW (Foreman Car)

The foreman car is the most heavily modified of the three TSG MOW boxcars.  This represents a former boxcar that has been turned into a rolling office for the foreman of the maintenance crew.  I removed the sliding doors and replaced them with some N scale structure doors.  I cut window openings and added some Tichy window castings.

The car is finished in the T&SG’s standard gray MOW colors.  Some of the decals are from Microscale and some were home made.  I used some Walthers decal paper in a laser printer to print my own decals.  I was limited to black, but that worked fine for these models.  I created artwork for the T&SG circular herald on the computer.

This car is assigned to the Tuscany Maintenance Unit.  The TMU decal is also homemade.  Making your own decals is especially good for small lettering that would be tedious at best to have to cut from alphabet sheets.

TSG 508 MW (Tool Car)

The second of my TSG MOW boxcars is a tool car assigned to the wreck train.  I didn’t modify this boxcar at all.  I painted the doors and the area behind the dimensional data with the T&SG’s yellow color for some variety.  Maintenance-of-way cars on real railroads often tend to be less uniform than cars in regular service.  I followed suit for the T&SG.  This car also carries the circular herald and is assigned to the Tuscany Maintenance Unit.

TSG 501 MW (Tool and Material Car)

The plug-door car is also unmodified.  TSG 501 is a tool and material car assigned to general maintenance-of-way service.  It has a plain gray paint job and carries no herald.  The reporting marks are a different style.  This car is not assigned to any particular place.

Overall I think the three TSG MOW boxcars look plausible.  They have some variety but are plain enough not to seem too unusual.  They would look good parked on a siding or in a special MOW train running over the line.


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